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Calming scents that will transform your home into a relaxation station

January 1 | 4 minute read

Relaxing Home Fragrances Hero 16x9

Words by Kerri Gordon and Sherine Youssef

Originally published on | April 3

Of all our five senses, it might surprise you to learn that it's our sense of smell that has the most control over our feelings, memories and emotions.

You know how you can get one whiff of a certain flower, or fragrance, or food, and it can instantly take you right back and flood your brain with memories of that one vacation, a certain loved one, or a particularly romantic dinner? That's the power of scent.

So, if you're looking to alleviate any uncomfortable or anxious feelings, and feel like you're in control, you may want to consider harnessing the power of scent. One very simple way to start is with your home fragrance and surrounding yourself with scents and aromas proven to induce calmness and relaxation.

Strike a match and let these relaxing scents fill your space with serenity after you clock off, and over the weekend.


Commonly known as a sleep remedy, lavender is one of the most well-researched scents when it comes to de-stressing and decompressing. Loved by bees and humans alike, the purple flower is proven to ease restlessness and tension, lower adrenaline levels and regulate breathing, as well as help to induce a deeper, longer sleep (it’s why you’ll find it in most of This Works’ iconic sleep range). Plus, a whiff of lavender has been shown to decrease your heart rate, which instantly lessens the feel of stress on a physiological level.

Find it in: 

Bastide’s Miel de Lavande Candle, accompanied by freesia, almond flower, lilac, and honey.

Editions de Parfums By Frédéric Malle Jurassic Flower Candle, paired with fresh notes of magnolia and citrus.


Delicate and remnant of spring, jasmine’s feminine aroma has been proven to soothe bouts of anxiety and promote undisturbed sleep. Like lavender, its presence can lower your heart rate and calm frazzled nerves, providing mild, sedative-like effects on both your mood and nerve activity. Embrace the powerful aroma of jasmine in moments where you can take a moment to go offline and practice mindfulness (in a bubble-filled bath, perhaps?).

Find it in: 

diptyque’s Jasmin Candle, a purist’s take on the crowd-pleasing white floral.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s Baccarat Rouge 540 Candle, paired with saffron, cedarwood and ambergris.


Sprinkle it fresh over a pizza, toss it into a caprese salad, swill it in a cup of tea, or let the sweet, herbaceous aromas of basil envelop your home in a sense of calm. Proven to help relieve anxiety and stress (no wonder Italian food feels as good as it tastes!), a home scent with basil is a must-have to ease the pressure caused by busy days with a never-ending to-do list.

Find it in: 

Jo Malone London Lime Basil & Mandarin Home Candle, accompanied by mandarin, lime and amber wood.

diptyque Anti-Odor Candle with Basil, paired with mint and tomato leaf.


Tart and fragrant, bergamot is a spicy-floral citrus fruit, famously used to flavour Earl Grey tea. Like the calming nature of the tea itself, the scent of bergamot is shown to reduce psychological stress responses and lower cortisol levels by prompting your brain to release dopamine and serotonin. So if your head is going at a thousand miles an hour, a whiff of bergamot may help to put your mind at rest and keep you cool, calm and collected. Fill your home with bergamot-spiked aromas in the lead up to bedtime and you might just have your best kip yet.

Find it in: 

Officine Universelle Buly’s Scented Candle Retour D’Egypte, accompanied by pink berry, jasmine, nutmeg, vanilla, amber and musk.

Malin+Goetz’s Dark Rum Candle, blended with plum, rum, leather, amber, patchouli and milk.

Maison Margiela Beach Vibes Candle, alongside pink pepper, lemon, ylang ylang, coconut milk, heliotrope, musk, cedarwood and benzoin.


Another ingredient popular in pre-bedtime teas, floral chamomile is known for its calming properties (and when applied topically, too: its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties can soothe skin irritations such as eczema and rosacea, but more on that here). Chamomile is said to have even been used by the Roman Empire to lull them into a deep sense of relaxation, and eventually, sleep. For your waking hours, consistent aromas of the light floral have been shown to improve daytime functioning and lessen feelings of fatigue throughout the day, so you can get more done and feel better about it.

Find it in: 

Byredo’s Cotton Poplin Fragranced Candle, accompanied by linen, white cedarwood and sweet musk.

This Works’ Deep Sleep Pillow Spray, paired with lavender (another proven soother!) and vetiver.


Soft, warm and homely, sandalwood is noted in so many coveted fragrances for good reason. Derived from the wood and roots of the East Indian sandalwood tree, this fragrant oil has been proven to help reduce anxiety and promote a healthier night’s sleep. The way it works is quite unique, too: the smell of sandalwood deactivates behavioural responses (creating a calming effect) while triggering a physiological response (a mild increase in blood oxygen levels) to keep you cool and calm, but still on your A-game.

Find it in: 

diptyque Santal Candle, inspired by the velvety sawdust of freshly-cut sandalwood.

Malin+Goetz Cannabis Candle, accompanied by orange, lemon, fig, pepper, spice and patchouli.

Le Labo Santal 26 Candle, paired with leather for a smoky edge.

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Home fragranceFragranceBastideDiptyqueJo Malone London